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Live Well: Daily Fitness for your Mood

May 31, 2024


Even for those who don’t experience mental illness, there are things you can do to bolster your mood and help weather the storms of life.

Starting your day with a mental health check-in can be a great way to engage with your mental state. Take two minutes to think about what’s ahead for the day, and ask yourself: What am I worried about? What am I looking forward to?

Throughout the day, you might feel too busy to check-in with yourself, but there are some grounding exercises that take almost no time at all.

For example, looking intently at something for just eight seconds will cement the image firmly in your memories. Maybe you are walking past someone’s flowering garden, maybe you notice the shape of the clouds in the sky – stop, really look at whatever catches your eye, and slowly count to eight while you appreciate its beauty. If you’re feeling stressed later, recall this image and how you felt while looking at it.

Another technique is box breathing: breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out for a count of four, hold again for four. You can do it anywhere, while doing other things, and it will help you focus and feel calm.

At the end of the day, consider keeping a gratitude journal. The entries should be short and sweet: just three things you were grateful for throughout the day, whether it's something big or something small, like a conversation with a friend, or even just your morning coffee. Recalling three things that made you feel grateful is a great way to end each day, and soon you'll start looking for reasons to feel grateful throughout the day—a real mood boost!

As always, your MFAP is there for you if you need it. Midwives also have access to Dialogue Virtual Care and Mental Health+ supports, including mental health toolkits to help you assess and manage your stress. For other services in the community, Log into Understanding Your Plan, and look for “Mental Health” under the Benefits at a Glance menu.